WALLINGFORD – A full-body workout is the end result of climbing more than 30-foot walls at Prime Climb rock climbing gym.
Here are 5 things to know about the activity from Prime Climb owner Brien Roscetti and manager Kristina Godfrey.
The major benefit of rock climbing is it’s a full body workout, according to Godfrey. She said climbing can strengthen muscles and increase flexibility, and every muscle can be stretched and used while climbing.
Roscetti said climbing also requires focus and concentration, which can help clear your mind.
Those with disabilities can also participate. Prime Climb runs an adapted climb program for people in wheelchairs.
Climbing shoes, a harness, belay device and a carabiner are the primary gear needed.
Proper footwear is also essential. Unlike regular street shoes, climbing shoes hug the foot closer for a tighter fit in order to prevent the foot from moving inside the shoe. The bottoms of the shoes provide friction to stick to the rocks.
A harness consists of a waist belt that sits over the hips and leg loops for a secure fit. The harness can be adjusted to fit snug and still be comfortable.
A belay device is used to control the rope and prevent falls.
Carabiners are metal rings that connect to the climbing rope and are used with the belay device.
Chalk can improve grip and prevent slipping.
Types of climbing
There are different types of climbing that can suit a variety of climbers.
Bouldering requires no harness, rope, belay or carabiner and is usually a steeper climb that reaches a height comfortable enough to jump down from.
Top rope climbing involves being securely attached to a rope and climbing to the top of where the rope begins.
Lead climbing is when a climber brings the rope up with them and clips into anchors at different spots on the wall or rock as the climb progresses. Falls can be further and faster during this style of climbing.
Aid climbing involves getting to the top of the climb by any means possible. This could include anchor points like wedges and hooks in the rock to aid the climber.
Godfrey said some basics of climbing include keeping the arms straight and making sure the body hangs off the skeleton as well as keeping the belly button close to the wall. Being spread out as much as possible on the wall is also useful for new climbers.
New climbers are also taught how to properly knot the rope in a figure eight style so that it is secure and safe to use.
Prime Climb, located at 340 Quinnipiac St., also owns Mountain Fun next door, which provides easier climbing opportunities for kids and families.
Places to climb outdoors
Ragged Mountain in Southington is a popular place to climb, according to Roscetti. Chatfield Hollow in Killingworth and Pinnacle Rock in Plainville are also climbing destinations, as well as Sleeping Giant in Hamden.